We would like to start by thanking all our entrants for the hospitality shown over the judging period it was very much appreciated. We both felt that as last years competition had to be cancelled that we’d do our utmost to make the flock competition happen again this year as we felt it is an integral part of the Dorset Breed calendar and to receive so many entries was very pleasing to see.
It is always an honour to judge the National Flock Competition, it’s a great chance to see how different shepherds work to create that uniformity of a complete flock of sheep. To get a whole flock of sheep both looking and performing well is no easy task. This year we set out looking for flocks with breed type, ewes that showed plenty of depth and length with easy fleshing qualities of a Dorset that would set them up for long productive lives.
Our Champion flock this year came from an exceptionally strong medium flock section with 14 entries. The winner which then went onto be awarded Overall Champion was Steven Lyons and his Bencran Flock, We viewed the Flock in beautiful Irish sunshine (heavy rain) however the ewes were exceptional, big strong ewes full of deep quality flesh and of a super length and plenty of style, presented to us all numbered this flock showed great longevity and really did compliment the other farming enterprise, Steven had a great eye for the stock which were performing well and careful attention to breeding has led the flock to where it is today.
The winning large flock and reserve champion flock came from the Rossiter’s and their Huish flock. Their passion and drive to always strive to improve both the flock and the breed was great to see. The ewes looked superb, Big strong sheep plenty of length, strength and spring of rib, the careful mix of genetics in the flock was clear to see with the younger proportion of the flock putting the flock in a great footing for the future. The Huish flock had also scanned really well and were managed by David, Rich and Ruth to a very high standard resulting in the best shepherd award.
The Small Flock was won by Ellen McClure and her Mountdale flock, winning a small category with a good number of entries. Ellen’s flock really did shine through, the ewes followed the other winners with size, power and great conformation, Ellen presented her flock really well and knowledge of individuals is always great to see.
The Ewe lamb section this year was won by Joe Larder and his Byeway’s flock. His ewe lambs had great character to them plenty of style and conformation to match which made them worthy winners of some strong bunches of ewe lambs we judged.
The Stock rams was won by R and R Hole, Sherborne flock, a real even bunch of rams all of which with great breed type and very correct with each ram adding something to already impressive flock of sheep The Best individual stock ram was awarded to Manor Croft Ziggy jointly used by Richard Fitton and Alec Steff. What a ram he was, a ram of tremendous width and strength and a hardness of flesh unrivalled, this combined with a good head and superb mouth for a ram approaching 5 years made him a very worthy winner
Finally, just a big thankyou to all the entrants for entering and taking the time to show us around your flocks. It was especially pleasing to see some new young breeders coming into the breed ensuring the future of the breed is looking bright.
Adam Care & Tim Pratt